Despite everything the year 2020 has thrown our way, we had a wonderful Christmas this year! The few days leading up to Christmas eve was spent in preparation for the big day. We made cinnamon rolls, put up our Christmas tree and decorated it, baked cookies and a cake for Christmas eve/ day. This is the first year in a very long time that I have been with my side of the family on Christmas eve and Christmas day!! Because of both Andrew’s and my ties to church on Christmas eve and sometimes Christmas day even, we typically are not able to be with our families until after Christmas day. This year my family came and spent Christmas with us!! It was a wonderful treat, and really the best Christmas gift they gave us!
I LOVE home made cinnamon rolls, and I am always so impressed with them. You probably get sick of seeing my pictures, but I can’t help it. I’m always so proud that I can actually make cinnamon rolls that taste good. 😂This year I put a cream cheese frosting on the top, and I will probably always and forever put this frosting on my rolls. I loved it!
Cream Cheese Icing for Cinnamon Rolls:
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup milk of choice (or more if necessary)
Emma and Samuel were really into helping me out in the kitchen! They are my taste testers! 🙂 I wanted to bake cookies on Christmas eve, but I didn’t want to stand in the kitchen forever making the dough. This year I made the dough the day before! For the sugar cookies I separated the dough out, and rolled it into three little discs. I then stored it in between wax paper in the refrigerator over night. The kids were able to cut out the cookies, bake, and then decorate the next day. I also did this with the snickerdoodle cookies we made. I rolled them into balls and put them into the refrigerator overnight on a sheet tray covered with parchment paper. The next morning the kids rolled them in the cinnamon and sugar, and then we baked them! I have found my favorite snicker doodle recipe too! I stumbled across this snickerdoodle recipe by Modern Honey and thought I would give it a try. It truly is the best recipe I have found!
I am sorry for the overload of pictures in this post, but I have captured so many good memories that I want to keep and share! I simply can’t choose!
Since Andrew and I have been married we have always bought a real Christmas tree. I didn’t grow up with real Christmas trees, but Andrew did. The first couple years I was skeptical, but I am a total tree lover now! 🙂 I LOVE a real Christmas tree! They always look so beautiful and smell so good! Yes, they are a little messy, but totally worth the little extra effort.
David was super excited to put the star on top of the tree. The tree was too tall for him to reach the top to put it on, so the next best thing was getting to plug it in! I love David’s face when he lit up the star for the first time! His facial expressions this year were priceless! 🙂 One of my favorite things is unwrapping all the ornaments and decorating the tree. I love looking at the different ornaments and remembering different people, places, and memories.
Christmas eve was a fun filled day spent with family!🥰 It was wonderful having Leah and Brandon, and Dad and Mom here! We ate tacos for lunch on Christmas eve! We played games, and later that afternoon unwrapped presents from Uncle B and Aunt Leah! The kids are at the perfect age for gifts! Their face expressions and exclamations of surprise are prime television worthy! 🤣 Especially David’s when he opened the packs of Pokémon cards from Uncle B. Later that evening we settled down to watch some Christmas moves featuring The Grinch, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and finally the Christmas eve service live stream from our church. We missed Andrew that evening at dinner, but he was with us on tv, and then joined us later. 🙂
After the kids were all tucked in bed, we then went about setting out all the gifts under the tree! I like waiting to put the gifts under the tree on Christmas eve because I like to see the kids eyes light up and their expressions the next morning! (Okay, let’s be honest. I am still in bed when the kids wake up on Christmas morning!) However, I could hear the shrieks of delight and imagine the sparkle in their eyes as I lay in bed. 🙂
We have a tradition of always reading the Christmas story before we open presents. It stems back to when I was a kid. I am glad we are continuing that tradition with our children. Since we opened gifts both on Christmas eve and Christmas day, we read it twice. Dad read it from Luke on Christmas eve, and Andrew read it from Matthew on Christmas day. The kids then tore into their presents! Once all the gifts were unwrapped, then came the task of opening and putting them together! Dad started working on helping Emma put her Barbie doll house together, Andrew worked on Samuel’s little people race track, and I put David’s hot wheel Scorpion track together. I had cinnamon rolls hot and ready, and we all just ate sporadically between putting toys together and playing! 🙂
Before we knew it, it was almost lunch time! We made roasted beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, and steamed green beans for lunch. I also made a coconut cake for dessert! (Actually I made the cake and frosting on Christmas eve morning. That way all I had to do was frost the cake Christmas day!) I am so thankful that my parents were able to be with us on Christmas day! We had a wonderful time, and it made Christmas feel that much more special!
After my parents departed, we took a nap. 🙂 We then spent the rest of the day relaxing!
Christmas with the Kjorlaug family then took place the next day! We were able to gather with Jim and Alesia at their house along with Chris, Beth, and their two boys. We had another wonderful Christmas celebration! We had brunch! Sausage and egg casserole, fruit trays, ham and cheese tray, cinnamon rolls, and Danishes; it was so good!! I have totally got to start the new year on a diet! 🙂 The kids always have fun with their cousins! We had a great time of adult conversation too!
Can you see David’s surprised expression! I was able to get it on camera! 🤣 Too bad the sound he was also making can’t be heard! Emma got a paw patrol tower, and when she opened it she said, “This is just what I’ve always wanted”!!! HAHAHAHA!!! Samuel just likes opening gifts at this point! It was so hilarious!! I love it!
We had a lovely time opening gifts and visiting afterwards. When Chris, Beth and the boys were fixing to leave, Samuel gave aunt Beth the biggest hug! She asked him if he wanted to go home with her, and he really was going to go! At least until they got outside, and then he wanted to get into our car instead of theirs. 🙂 He’s so funny!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!